Archive for October, 2012

Sundergarh: India’s mine of hockey jewels

Following report is from NDTV:

New Delhi: It is a blazing hot afternoon, a group of 4-5 boys are sitting under the shade of a mango tree with hockey sticks in their hands. The kids are from a village a few kilometres off Sundergarh town, a place where no one speaks or talks about cricket, it is hockey all the way. Ask anyone about their favourites sportsperson and it is hockey player, most prefer and idolise Dileep Tirkey, cricket does not even feature in the list. Most of the local tournaments held here are not fancy affairs, at times the prize is a goat.

Sundergarh belongs to impoverished region of the Chotha Nagpur Plateau, a place which has great mineral wealth, yet has seen little or no development. The region is famous for producing world class hockey players and being good is at the time the only hope for a secured future. It is not a cakewalk for most of them, the dream involves endlessly hours of honing their skills with makeshift bamboo sticks, poles serve as goalposts.

Drenched in sweat and a bruised leg to show off, 10-year-old Amit Tirkey, dribbles with a piece of stick bent at one end. He is too poor to afford a proper hockey stick. Mention the name of any of the famous hockey players from this region and his eyes light up. He adds, “I share the same surname as Dileep Tirkey and I want to be a great player like him, but I want to be a midfielder or a forward and not a defender.” When asked why, he adds, “I like to score goals and not stop goals”. Pat comes a tap on his head from his friend, who dares him to score a goal and off they go to play on the dusty and stony surface, the joy clearly evident for all to see.

The question that everyone wants to know is how and why did the game become so famous in this part of the country? Some believe that the Christian missionaries were the main reason for spreading the game. Sampad Mahapatra, a journalist who has covered the region for decades, points out that most of the players who have played for the country belong to the Oram tribe. Most of the Orams are Christians. Mr Mahapatra adds, along with hockey a host of other games were also introduced, but it is hockey which became a rage.

What also works in their favour is their never ending stamina and strong legs.

For those who graduate to the next level, there is a SAI academy in Panposh, near Rourkela. The academy which is meant to provide a platform to raw talent, does not really live up to it mark. The amenities are very few and those available do not live up to the standards. The state hockey association is based in Cuttack and officials only make infrequent trips to the region, much to the disgust of the locals in the region. The locals believe that people will continue to play the game, but what they question is for how long in the midst of very little support from the state administration. If the apathy continues, the game will die a slow and painful death.

October 31, 2012 at 1:42 am Leave a comment

Free training for migrant labourers kids at Institute of Hotel Management, Balangir

Following report is from TOI:

BHUBANESWAR: The State Institute of Hotel Management in Balangir has decided to train children of migrant labourers of the district in food production and food and beverage services to check further migration. After training, they would be employed in the local hospitality industry. Those, who have studied at least up to Class VIII, and have attained the age of 18, will be eligible for the free-of-cost training.

“The programme is being started keeping in mind the large-scale migration that Balangir district witnesses every year. We will go to the migration-prone areas to identify eligible candidates from among the children of migrant labourers,” said Chandrakanta Mohapatra, principal of the institute.

While the food production training will be of two-month duration, food and beverage services training will continue for one and a half months. The training programme will be free of cost with the Centre sponsoring it under its ‘Hunar Se Rojgar’ scheme.

“We have the capacity to train 350 students, all of whom will be from the migration-prone belt. However, others who fit in the eligibility criteria can also join the training. Out of Rs 27 lakhs funded by the Centre, Rs 13 lakh will be spent on the training, said the principal. He also said more children would be gradually incorporated into the programme under the state government’s Nijukti mission. A total of 375 students might be accommodated by the end of March, said the principal.

‘After the training programme is over, we will ask hoteliers to recruit the trained youths. Since urban Balangir has many good hotels, there won’t be any problem in placement,” said Suresh Kumar, a trainer. He said free uniform, tools, food and accommodation will be provided to the trainees. After completing the training, students will have the option to be self employed as well.

The food craft institute was up-graded into a hotel management institute in Balangir to boost up tourism and hospitality industry in the region and generate local employment. Earlier, the institute has set a record in giving training to roadside dhaba owners across the district.

October 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm 2 comments

Patkhanda Jatra of Jarasingha, Balangir district

Following report is from the Sambad:

October 27, 2012 at 10:12 am Leave a comment

Lower Suktel: problems and controversy

Following report is from the Sambad:

October 27, 2012 at 2:28 am Leave a comment

Quality of air in the Jharsuguda and Sambalpur area is highly polluted: National Environmental Engineering Research Institution

Following report is from TOI:

BHUBANESWAR: The National Environmental Engineering Research Institution (NEERI), which undertook the ‘carrying capacity’ survey in Odisha’a new industrial hub of Jharsuguda and Sambalpur, has given thumbs down to the quality of air in the area.

The survey report submitted to the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) was aimed at examining if further industrialization is possible in those areas. The draft report is being examined by SPCB environment scientists.

“We have received the report and are examining the recommendations of NEERI. Another round of discussion will be held at Nagpur in November as to which components of the recommendations are necessary to take a decision regarding a cap on further industrialization in those areas,” said senior environment scientist of SPCB Dilip Kumar Behera. NEERI reports revealed that emission of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and fluoride are causing environmental hazards in the area, he said. “NEERI study reveals particulate matter — 10 and 2.5 — is responsible for air pollution. Mainly thermal plants, refractories, sponge iron units and coal mines are having an adverse effect on the environment,” said Behera. He, however, said NEERI didn’t give any industry specific recommendations.

The SPCB had entrusted NEERI to conduct the study in a 45 km radius area with Rengali in Sambalpur district as the epicenter. Earlier, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, had conducted a similar survey, based on which some industries, in the first phase, were given closure notice.

The basic purpose of the survey was to ascertain how much area in the districts can take the pollution load. “It was a typical scientific study based on which newer technology can be put in place to check pollution and expansion plans of existing industries and accommodation of new industries can be decided accordingly,” said NEERI director S R Wate.

There are around 23 sponge iron units in Sambalpur-Jharsuguda region. “After we felt that mostly sponge iron industries were responsible for dust and ash generation, we approached NEERI to conduct the study,” said SPCB environment engineer A K Swar. Odisha is the only state which has 110 sponge iron units, which emit 45% ash, he said.

He said earlier SPCB had recommended ‘no standalone’ sponge industry in the state. “If one applies for only sponge iron industry, he won’t be given the permit. A sponge iron industry henceforth can not be set up alone. There must be some ancillary unit attached to it,” said Swar. He said pneumatic dust handling has been made compulsory for the industries.

October 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

Blend of Dalkhai dance and Bhaijiuntia festival

Update: Following is a report from TOI:

BHUBANESWAR: The traditional form of worshipping Goddess Durga through dance and music has started. Young unmarried girls (locally called kuanris) in Nuapada district are performing ‘Dalkhai’ – a traditional form exclusively performed during the puja – to worship the goddess.

Dalkhai, though typical to western Odisha, is slowly losing its popularity. However, the entire Komna and parts of Khariar blocks in Nuapada have kept up the tradition. The dance is performed for 36 hours to the tunes of dhol (trumpet) and muhuri (flute).

Every year, the dance is performed at a chosen spot, preferably near a river. The ritual starts in the early morning on Saptami. Young dancers, accompanied by musicians, collect sacred sand from the river bank and make idol of the goddess. They place the idol under a tree and worship it. After the rituals are over, they start dancing till evening the next day ( Ashtami). During the process, performers have to fast.

According to Bana Khatri, a resident of Komna, this is a much coveted moment for girls here. “The tradition dates back to primitive days and young girls feel sacred after worshipping Durga and dancing before Her,” said Khatri.

The dance form, which is also performed publicly, can be traced back to the old tradition practiced in Nuapada when untrained dancers used to perform in order to appease the Goddess. Considered as a folk dance, Dalkhai captivates audience if performed in the original form.

A senior villager, Pitambar Letkabar, said over years, the original dance form has been distorted. “One needs great devotion to perform this dance. The young girls perform the dance joyously and devotedly,” said Letkabar.

Following report is from the Sambad:

October 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm 1 comment

Pradhanpat waterfall drying up

Following report is from the Sambad:

October 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm Leave a comment

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